Once upon a time, there was a tabby cat who was more like a dog, and remarkably similar to your best friend from college who you still see every chance you get. Loyal and loving, funny and forgiving, he lived a good life and made the dog wait upstairs whenever he wanted.
One day not all that long ago, (in fact, I believe it was the day before yesterday) he decided he had had enough of the dog and the people and the four walls around him, and he asked to go out, just as he had hundreds of times before. Despite the icy cold, he nonchalantly waltzed into the nearby woods to go enjoy being a cat and all the freedoms that go along with that.
And then he didn't come back.
Not for his evening meal, and not even through an incredibly bitter and dark night.
The dog and the people feared the worst when late the next afternoon he still hadn't returned. It was time to go on The Quest to Find the Kitty.
Donning the warmest of warm clothes, fighting the annoyance of static in their hair, managing to latch the door with thick mittens, they set out as the sun itself was setting. It would be an adventure that would end at dinnertime, and would be remembered for at least the next year.
There was snow in their fur, and fear in their hearts, but they still forged on into the deep woods.
And then strange shape came into view on the horizon! An abandoned mansion that they had only heard tales about, and never seen up close. Could kitty have gone in there?!??!!!
They called and called, watching their breath fog the evening air and waiting for the response that didn't come. Perhaps if they walked around the perimeter of the house, carefully watching their step among the dilapidated garden beds, they would find their kitty.
Around the front of the old house they went, and still no sign of their lost friend. Their spirits were as broken as the shattered windows of the empty house.
With their hearts heavy and their stomachs empty, they headed for home. What would Christmas be like without him? Where could he be?
And then.......just an hour later, there came a meow from atop the deck's pergola.
He had returned!
Despite being asked many pointed questions, he would not reveal a single detail about his two day absence. He just politely asked for his dinner, and told the dog to go wait for him upstairs.